Hemant Mehta graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with degrees in Mathematics and Biology. While there, he also helped establish their first secular student group, Students WithOut Religious Dogma (SWORD). He earned his Masters in Math Education at DePaul University and is a National Board Certified high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago.
He has worked with the Center for Inquiry and the Secular Coalition for America, received scholarships from American Atheists and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and appeared on CNN and FOX News Channel.
He currently serves on the board of directors for Foundation Beyond Belief (a charity organization targeting non-theistic donors) after spending several years as the chair of the board of the Secular Student Alliance (which creates and supports college atheist groups nationwide).
You can reach him at Mpromptu@gmail.com.
All posts by Hemant can be read here.
Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards. He was the Editor-in-Chief of two Manhattan-based magazines until he decided to give up commercial publishing for professional photography… with a little blogging on the side. These days, he lives in an old seaside farmhouse in Maine with his wife, two kids, and three big dogs. You can e-mail him at terryxfirma at gmail dot com.
You can read all posts by Terry here.
Jessica Bluemke grew up in the suburbs of Chicago in a fairly non-religious home, but didn’t identify as an atheist until she had an epiphany during an Early American Literature class while reading “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” She has a wide variety of interests and semi-talents, including writing, horseback riding, dance, singing, guitar, and traveling, but is still trying to figure out how to hammer all of those things into some sort of career.
A 2008 graduate from Ball State university in Muncie, IN, she has also lived in Montana, Australia, and London, but currently resides on the North Side of Chicago with her boyfriend and his DVD collection. She loves science, horses, The Cubs, run-on sentences, and pre-2009-Discovery Channel. Her dream is to be a correspondent on The Daily Show or to only talk like she is in an Aaron Sorkin show.
You can read all posts by Jessica here.
In a way Richard Wade was born in the Temple of Science because his parents worked in a major Natural History museum as exhibit designers and illustrators. Their friends were paleontologists, geologists, entomologists, historians and the like, so Richard was brought up on a steady diet of science. As a child, he enjoyed going out on archeological digs or hunting for fossils with the professionals, or helping with specimens in the lab.
He has two Master’s degrees, the first in Art and the second in Educational Psychology. He has worked as an artist and as a Marriage and Family Counselor with many years in the specialization of addiction medicine, having counseled more than ten thousand patients. Now retired, he lives in California with his wife and enjoys amateur astronomy, hiking in the Sierras, fossil hunting and making figurative sculptures.
After contributing various articles on Friendly Atheist for 20 months, at Hemant’s suggestion in July of 2009 he began writing an advice column called “Ask Richard.” Twice a week, he publishes his responses to email letters from people of all viewpoints, not just atheists. These usually deal with challenges or conflicts stemming from believers and nonbelievers living or working together. He hopes to reduce unnecessary strife and suffering on all sides.
Kelley Freeman is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in Russian. She is a former president of the Secular Student Alliance at the University of South Carolina. Under her rule(!), Kelley put a heavy emphasis on doing service work and providing an awesome community for non-religious students. She has been an intern for both the Secular Student Alliance and Foundation Beyond Belief. Kelley is also a board member for Camp Quest South Carolina. You might recognize her name from her blasphemous crochet designs for SSA Week 2012.
Somewhat recently, Kelley has teamed up with Gordon Maples to co-host the Secular Start Up, a vlog series that gives advice on how to run a secular student group. She’s also the Volunteer Network Coordinator for the Secular Student Alliance for the southeastern region.
You can read all posts by Kelley here.
M J Shepherd‘s first ever moment of non-belief occurred when he was very young, in a Sunday School class about the healing powers of Jesus. He was reported to have said, “I don’t need Jesus, I have band-aids!”
It’s been downhill from there.
He graduated in 2009 with a BA in studio art and a minor in art history, from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was president of the Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics club there as well.
Before reaching college, he gadded about with the Boy Scouts, lollygagging his way to Eagle Scout rank and promptly forgetting every knot ever learned save the square knot, and was enrolled at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts – Riverfront, a specially designed high school for artistic students in the New Orleans area. Perhaps even… intelligently designed.
You can email him at email@example.com.
You can read all posts by MJ here.
Paul Fidalgo is communications director of the Center for Inquiry where he writes the regular blog series The Morning Heresy. He previously led communications for the Secular Coalition for America and FairVote: the Center for Voting and Democracy. He holds a master’s degree in political management from George Washington University, where his master’s thesis was on atheists in American politics. Paul is also an actor and musician whose work includes five years performing with the American Shakespeare Center. He lives in Maine with his wife Jessica and son Toby. His personal blog is Near Earth Object, and he tweets as @paulfidalgo.
You can read all posts by Paul here.
Camille Beredjick is a Northwestern University undergraduate in her last year of journalism school, a gay rights activist, a feminist, and a lover of all things controversial. She was raised in Tampa, FL by a Catholic mom and a Jewish dad, a quirky setup that steered her toward skepticism at an early age. For no particular reason, she really loves pugs and cupcakes. Camille runs an LGBT news blog at GayWrites.org.
You can read all posts by Camille here.
Sara Lin Wilde is a recovering Catholic (and cat-holic, for that matter — all typographical errors are the responsibility of her feline friends). After being an avid Catholic youth group member in her teen years — purity ring and all! — she abandoned the Church towards the end of her first year in university. It was too hard to reconcile with her growing feminism.
She still reveres books that are less badly-written than the Bible, and is trained in Library and Information Sciences, a Masters-level degree that makes her theoretically employable. But because her first love is writing, she’s put aside her librarianship to work on writing a novel that she really, really hopes can actually get published. You can follow her progress and other sundry details of her life and thoughts at her author blog or on Twitter.
She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
You can read all posts by Sara here.